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Department of the Air Force
Career Focus Program
166 C Circle
Columbus AFB, MS 39710-7901
It’s likely that employment will change when a move occurs, especially for military spouses. The information below will provide you with employment assistance information and resources available such as SECO, MyCAA and MSEP Portals.
The major employers in the Columbus area are Columbus Air Force Base, Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle, International Paper, Weyerhaeuser Company, Mississippi University for Women, Columbus Municipal School District, Lowndes County School District, Aurora Flight Science, Airbus, Yokohama Tire, Steel Dynamic Inc., PACCAR Inc. and Stark Aerospace. Many employers hire through staffing agencies or the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
A local employment workshop is held each Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Military and Family Readiness Center. On- and off-base employment opportunities including civil service, non-appropriated fund, contractors, tuition assistance and the transition assistance programs are discussed. In addition, personnel seeking employment may sign up to receive job opportunities by email. For more information, check out the Columbus AFB Employment/Career Focus Program website.
The unemployment rate in the local area is 4.6% (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aug 2022).
Nurses and other medical-related jobs, fast food service workers and personnel with specialized technical skills have excellent employment opportunities. Manufacturing, sales, teachers and construction workers have good employment opportunities in various seasons. Administrative positions are fair employment opportunities. Social workers, management-related jobs and advertising/marketing are poor prospects due to the size of the locale.
The average hourly rate for Columbus is $15.33 (payscale.com, Sep 2022), adjusting up or down depending upon qualifications. The annual average management salary in Columbus ranges from $27,000 to $70,000 (zippia.com, Sep 2022). Temporary and manpower agencies are an excellent source of employment for student spouses.
Please be sure to hand carry all employment records, including resumes, transcripts, SF-50, licenses or any computer disks/memory sticks containing this material. Unemployment benefits are normally paid to military spouses relocating with sponsors depending upon termination circumstances from previous employment.
Spouse Reimbursement for Re-licensure/Recertification
Reimbursements are made up to $1,000 for occupational state relicensing/recertification costs due to permanent change of station or permanent change of assignment.
File within 24 months of the date PCS/PCA orders were authenticated.
Make a PCS/PCA from a duty station in one state to a duty station in another state, including Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories.
Show that movement of dependents is authorized at government expense.
Demonstrate actual costs incurred for relicensing/recertification.
Show that the state of the new duty station requires relicensing/recertification for the same profession as previous state.
Reimbursement is not to exceed $1,000.
Cost must be incurred and paid after the date the PCS/PCA orders were authenticated.
Not authorized for moves upon accession, Career Intermission Program, retirement or separation.
Not authorized for obtaining a new license or certification for new profession.
Reimbursement is issued through Finance and must be processed by the military member.
Required documentation for reimbursement includes a copy of PSC/PCA orders, a copy of spouse’s valid state occupational license and paid receipts for items required to obtain licensing from new state.
The Gen. Henry H. Arnold Education Grants is the centerpiece of Air Force Aid Society's education support. The application process for the Arnold Education Grant serves as the platform for other key education support opportunities at the AFAS. The grant is competitive in its needs-based selection criteria and is uniquely tailored to recognize the proper weighing of family income and education costs.
Grants ranging from $500 to $4,000 are awarded to eligible Air Force dependents each year.
For more information on the Gen. Henry H. Arnold Education Grant program, go to the AFAS website.
Separating or retiring military personnel are provided transition information on career planning and job search skills, as well as access to employment opportunities through workshops, seminars and individual sessions.
The Transition Assistance Program Workshop is a five-day class, co-sponsored with the Department of Labor and Department of Veterans Affairs. It is designed for active-duty members who are planning to retire or separate within the next 12-24
months. The workshop gives a thorough overview on how to prepare for a smoother transition into the civilian workforce. The areas covered are job searching tips, re-careering, resume writing, interview preparation, federal employment applications, employment opportunities, dressing successfully for an interview, filing disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs, budgeting, relocation information, finances, household goods movement and small business information. Please contact the Military & Family Readiness Center at (662) 434-2790 for upcoming workshop dates and to reserve a seat.
My Career Advancement Application
For information on MyCAA and military spouse education and career opportunities, visit Military OneSource.
My Career Advancement Application
The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program
Visit the Air Force Aid Society website for information on the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program.
Unemployment compensation may be available for the spouse of newly assigned military members or civilian employees. Visit the Mississippi Department of Employment Security website at mdes.ms.gov or call them at 662-243-1900 for more information.
The Jul 2022 unemployment rate in Lowndes County was 4.6%, Mississippi was 4.4% (mdes.ms.gov). The 2022 family median income in Lowndes County was $54,866; Mississippi was $52,689 (bestplaces.net, Sep 2022) . A local employment workshop is held each Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Military and Family Readiness Center. On and off base employment opportunities are discussed, including civil service, non-appropriated fund and contract positions. For more information, visit the Columbus Air Force Base Employment/Career Focus Program website.